Meet the Finalists

2022 | Healthcare

Matthew Adams MCIOB
Willmott Dixon

Pears Building, London NW3: construction of seven-storey hospital building, completed in 161 weeks. 

Client: Royal Free Charity 

Contract: JCT, design and build 

Value: £52m 

About the Project

Pears Building, London NW3

Asked to step up from principal surveyor to senior operations manager soon after this scheme started, Matt Adams showed in his first project manager role that the best quantity surveyors can be fine construction managers.  

That strong commercial background was key in getting the project under way. After the scheme’s first contractor had left site, Matt found the £4m in savings needed to move forward. Then, after the scheme had languished in preconstruction for two years while a judicial review instigated by neighbours made up its mind – and supply chain prices inexorably rose – his evidence-based repricing was accepted by the client. 

He led the innovative groundwater solution to the elevated water table that posed a risk to post-construction building stability. He built a contiguous piling wall, with a series of perforated pipes installed below ground between the piles to collect the groundwater and channel it into the building’s drainage system. 

Matt also efficiently managed the potentially awkward scenario of the original architect overseeing a design undertaken by a different firm that had been value-engineered to meet the budget constraints. He held weekly design team meetings right from the beginning, so every drawing could be commented on by the overseeing architect, with agreement always ultimately secured. And by working his way methodically through changes the tenant wanted, he avoided inter-stakeholder design disputes flaring up.

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